30 January, 2006

Journal Quilt

I've made a January Journal Qlt from a photo of one of the journal qlts I made in 2004.
I played with the original phot using Paint Shop Pro, Effects, texture effect, weave.
I did the playing some time ago and kept the picture because I thought it would be a good idea to play with and maybe make a quilt.
What I did instead was, make the image A4 size, using bits of the image to fill in around the edges, then when I was happy with what I had I printed it onto white fabric.
Next step was glueing it to batting and using a small zig zag stitch to emphisise the weave pattern. Some shading was done with a fabric pen to enhance the darker areas then a back was put on and a small border and binding to finish.
Top photo is the original.

25 January, 2006

Play Day

Today I played a little with some soda ash soaked and dried fabric and procion dyes.
This is my work table, a little overcrowded but then you cant see the other table and shelving. The 2nd table is folded away as I wasn't planning to do a lot.
The plan was to work with the dye and paint some fabric. I mixed up manutex and added dye and the first 2 pieces were an experiment and I'll let you know how happy I am with them when they've been washed, dried and ironed. Something about that process makes them all look better.
The view from my work area is stunning at the moment, we have had an abundance of rain, for our area, and the trees have grown, full of glistening leaves. So much better than the dry, brown, dusty look of the drought.
I spread dye/manutex mix on plastic for the following 2 pieces spread it out with fingers, then the spatula (no more cakes being made here). Positioned the fabric on top and rubbed it all over with a rag, sprayed a little water over just to help fill in the white bits.
I like both of these.

The purple piece has since been overpainted with a gold colour.

More of play day
This is the beginning, always good to see where you started.
Now I'm still using soda soaked, dry fabric but I'm not happy with the look.
Find a spray bottle and spray the fabric, just enough to dampen, not soak. Just using dye mix, no manutex.
Now I'm thinking about trees, be it cutting out individual trees, or, quilting the whole piece, maybe with trunks or leaves.

I really like this piece, it looks a little lighter in the picture than it actually is.
Playing More

So we begin again, still spraying the dry fabric with water to dampen.
What a shade of green that first one was, thats what happens when you just work with whats on the table.
Add a bit more blue, then a bit of red, play a bit which is the most enjoyable part of the whole experience, and finally I'm happy with what I've got.
Final Pieces
Again on damp fabric.
A 2" wide paintbrush used this time, the others were all foam.
I only used gold on this, half way through I added some water to lighten the shade.
May play with it a little more yet.

The Green piece was laid on bubble wrap, then sponged with a light green and gold, then a lumpy bumpy roller with dark green then brown.
Please excuse the technical terms (lumpy bumby)
Test Strips
Do You use test strips when your mixing your dyes. What do you do with them? Something tells me they should be thrown away, no fun in that.
This is one of my journal quilts made from the first collection. I now have an icecream container full and I'm planning the next project.
My friends know I don't throw away that which I think might be useful.

24 January, 2006

Dying Day

With the visitors all gone its time to get back to normal.
Had a small workshop yesterday and managed to get some dying done for me. A 12 step colour wheel with black added to each colour, a little overboard on the yellow which is now greener than the yellow green. Loving these colours, and the next step is to add them to the website.
Did a few others which I will take photos of tomorrow.

17 January, 2006

Evelyn's Elephant Art

My sister has been staying and working hard while here. She collects Elephants and this piece was made from a drawing she did. We collaberated on the quilting, she did the outlines and I quilted the background. I had to give her a quick lesson in machine quilting, even free motion quilting and for a novice she did extremely well. She now believes anything is possible.

In earlier posts you can see Evelyn's self portrait with an elephant on her head, now she has one to hang on the wall.

14 January, 2006

Tea for Two

What a difference a background can make.

I made up 'Two for Tea' lady, building her on baking paper first so I could try her on different backgrounds. I really love bright greens just now and so wanted to use it for the background but I wasn't happy with it. I put her on the black fabric and the difference was obvious. I wasn't happy with her face colour on black so changed it. Its not as bright as it looks in the photo, but I was happy with it.

The hair colours show up better with the different coloured face and background fabric.

The eyes too were changed, made darker as I thought they couldn't be seen well in the first one. Much better darker.

A digital camera is a great tool to have when you are playing with different colours for backgrounds etc. I take photos as I work then I can look back through them and see the changes. I can open the photos on the computer screen so I can see them together and the needed changes are sometimes obvious.

Bouquet for Mum

While my Mum was visiting over Christmas she wanted to make something. This is the almost finished arrangement we did, we added another stem of orchids and I forgot to take another photo before she left.

There wasn't time to quilt it so she took it home and did it at home.

Mum really enjoyed doing this piece, which is about 21in x 24in. She has said she'd like to do another one so I'm going to pack up a little project every now and again and send her something to work on.

I have her and my great grandmother to thank for my interest in all kinds of sewing which led to patchwork & quilting.